Usually, when people think about martial arts, they tend to envision people drenched in sweat from every part of their body, constantly moving about fighting an opponent or opponents (depending on how ambitious your imagination is). However, most people do not see martial arts as a path to calmness.
You might be thinking how does 'fighting' bring out calmness, or maybe you are thinking if I could hit someone then I would feel calm 🤔 It is not about fighting, although fighting is an aspect of martial arts. Martial arts is about mastering yourself. It is an ever-continuing process of bettering yourself through training and creating harmony between body, mind and spirit.
Let me elaborate on this - for example, if two people get into the ring to fight, they both will try to take control of the fight to gain the upper hand. The fighter that loses control of the fight will become frustrated and work to gain the upper hand. If the losing fighter allows the frustration to consume him, ultimately his opponent will exploit this and win the fight. But if he allows the frustration to dissipate and regain his centre, he will be able to focus and work his opponent to create the opening needed to win the fight. This would only be possible if the fighter has the presence of mind of himself. Martial arts training constantly pushes you to be aware of your body as it moves, your mind to remain focused and your emotions so as to not give in to anger and frustration.
This is true for everyday life as well. We are constantly jostling for the 'upper hand' or 'advantage' in our own lives by trying to control the world around us that creates our own stress and frustration. Rather be the fighter that realises they are in control of themself and once you realise this, your outer world will begin to mould around you. It is only when we are confronted with ourselves do we truly begin to know who we are and what we are capable of.
The constant confrontation of yourself in martial arts is the path towards calmness, for the more we know who we are, the harder it is for others to sway us and the less disrupted our own inner peace becomes.